Editor of Rugby League Week, Mitchell Dale, provides TattsBet with an exclusive Round 6 Preview of the NRL.
TattsBet NRL Round 6 Preview
Titans v Broncos
CBus Super Stadium
Friday April 11@ 19.40 (AEST)
Who would have thought it? After five rounds, the Titans are rattling along at the top of the ladder. More power to them. But their lofty place on the table is a touch misleading. While they’ve won four from five, they haven’t exactly been convincing in any of their victories. Brisbane will pose their toughest test of the year this Friday. The Broncos have won eight of the past nine derbies, while the Titans haven’t scored more than 14 points in a match against Brisbane since the 2009 finals series.
Panthers v Rabbitohs
Friday April 11 @ 19.40 (AEST)
The Rabbitohs got back to what they do best last week – bashing and barging through the middle. Their big men dominated and that was enough to get them back in the winner’s circle. But they will need to show a bit more enterprise this week if they are to get over the top of the Panthers at home. Last week’s win wasn’t enough for me to think the Rabbitohs are definitely back in form, but it was a promising start.
Saturday April 12 @ 15.05 (AEST)
Fortress Canberra it ain’t. The Raiders are now on a record losing streak at home, having dropped their past five matches at GIO Stadium. It’s an amazing stat, given Canberra has long been a team everyone hates playing on their home patch. But this Saturday, they will get an ideal chance to end their losing run against a Knights side backing up from a Monday night loss in Townsville. The Knights looked tired and emotionally drained against the Cowboys – whether or not they can lift this week remains to be seen.
My tip: Raiders 1-12
Saturday April 12 @ 17.30 (AEST)
It’s hard to believe it was only a month ago the Roosters obliterated Parra by 52 points. Since then, both sides’ fortunes have taken a turn. Parra are riding on a two-match winning streak and chasing three straight for the first time since 2010. The Roosters, on the other hand, have scored just one try in their past 160 minutes of footy. But will the Eels still carry the scars of that 56-4 massacre? One thing’s for sure, the Roosters will not post a half-ton again this weekend. But the premiers do have a good recent record at Pirtek Stadium, having won four of their last five matches there, and should have too much firepower for the Eels.
My tip: Roosters 1-12
Saturday April 12 @ 19.30 (AEST)
All the stats are pointing to a Tigers victory. Wests have won 10 of the 15 matches between the two sides. North Queensland haven’t won at Campbelltown Stadium since Round 25, 2004. And the Cowboys have held the Tigers to less than four tries just twice in their past 14 matches. On top of that, the Tigers were outstanding against Manly at Leichhardt last weekend. But the loss of James Tedesco will hurt them, as will the suspension of Braith Anasta. The Tigers ambushed Manly in the forwards last weekend, but they won’t be able to do that against Scott, Tamou and co this time. The Cowboys got things back on track at home last Monday night, and I think they can notch another win this weekend.
Sunday April 13 @ 14.05 (AEST)
Yes, I am tipping the Warriors. No, I haven’t lost the plot. I know the Warriors were a rabble against Cronulla last week. I am also aware the Warriors have never won at Eden Park. And I realise the Dogs have been impressive in knocking off the Storm and Roosters the past two weeks. But I am going with the Kiwis on the basis of the New Coach Factor – whenever a club punts their coach mid-season, you invariably see them come out and win the following week. So I am chucking the form guide out the window, and putting all my faith in the New Coach Factor and a bunch of frustratingly inconsistent Warriors… OK, maybe I have lost the plot!
Sunday April 13 @ 15.00 (AEST)
All you can say about Manly’s performance against the Tigers last Sunday is that it was very un-Manly-like. They were out-enthused and out-muscled by the Tigers, simple as that. They were not the gritty, grinding Sea Eagles we have become accustomed to. A return to Brookie will be just the tonic to get them firing again. Cronulla finally got off the duck egg last weekend, but let’s face it, they were playing a rotten Warriors side. The Sharks still have a mountain of injuries, and they have a dire record against Manly – the Eagles have won eight of their past nine matches against Cronulla, and the Sharkies haven’t scored more than 18 points in a game against the boys from the Northern Beaches since Round 19, 2009.
My tip: Sea Eagles 13+
Monday April 14 @ 19.00
These two sides have an identical formline so far this year – both started with three straight wins to hold a share of the competition lead before crashing back to earth with two consecutive losses. Both have really gone off the boil over the past fortnight. The Storm have been understandably rattled by the Alex McKinnon tragedy. It is harder to pinpoint the cause of the Dragons’ drop-off though. They have been well off the pace in losses to Brisbane and Souths the past two weeks. Melbourne haven’t lost three straight since 2012, and they have a very good record against the Dragons, having beaten them in 12 of the past 15 meetings. That, and the fact they are at home, is enough for me to take Melbourne.
My tip: Storm 1-12
Mitchell Dale - Editor Rugby League Week @LeagueWeek
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